Hot on the heels of the debut of Microsoft’s Vista operating system, Niveus Media announced last Tuesday the immediate availability of a quartet of Vista-based Media Centers at a rollout held at Manhattan’s venerable, high-profile, high-end specialty retailer/custom installer, Harvey Home Electronics.

Harvey CEO Martin McClanan asserted that the new series represented a breakthrough solution for his customer base for several reasons. “In the past,” he said, “we didn’t embrace Windows-based servers. But this allows people to have a full experience. The concept of lossless audio is in its infancy now, and these devices, as they become components in people’s home systems, offer seamless integration with the devices we sell. Another reason we chose these products is the growing importance of home networking; it’s a solution we want to provide. And its compelling user interface is easy for the computer user and for the non-technical user alike.”

Tim Cutting, Niveus Media’s CEO and co-founder, pointed out that these models are the first from Niveus to offer 1,080p high-definition HD DVD playback, the high-def DVD format supported by Microsoft.

In describing Niveus’ two top-line models, the custom-installation-channel-destined Pro Series n7 and n9, which boast one-to-three-terabyte hard drive capacities, Cutting alluded to their utility as “uber-storage devices. These systems can get terabytes of added storage; customers will never have to delete their favorite recordings.” Cutting said the servers are also endowed with the capability to download lossless digital audio, which he characterized as “music downloads for grownups,” through a partnership forged by Niveus with lossless download service MusicGiants.

The Rainier and Denali Editions are part of the Niveus Summit Series line; their pricing begins at $3,199 and $7,999, respectively. The rack-mountable Pro Series n7 and n9 begin at $7,999 and $15,999, respectively. An outboard digital cable receiver, which will support two CableCARDs, will also be made available; pricing for the component has not yet been announced.—Nancy Klosek